Ever since Ryan Murphy revealed that every season of "American Horror Story" takes place in the same universe, fans have been anxiously waiting to see how "American Horror Story: Hotel" fits into the big picture.
And last night (Nov. 11), a huge piece of the puzzle clicked into place: nearly a century before the events of "Hotel," it turns out that the Countess was a patient at the underground abortion clinic in "Murder House."
She's even got her own little vampire Infantata as a souvenir.
So, how does this new revelation fit into the existing AHS architecture? Let's review.
This isn't the first time an AHS character has paid a visit to a season or setting not her (or his) own. The events of "Freak Show" served as a partial prequel to Season 2, with a cameo appearance by the sadistic Dr. Arden, known in his pre-"Asylum" days as Hans Gruper. And of course, we spent much of "Freak Show" learning how Pepper went from performing in Elsa's carnival to being institutionalized at Briarcliff.
And names, and places
Madison Montgomery shares a last name and city of origin with the original inhabitants of "Murder House," which is probably not a coincidence. And over the course of the series, certain places -- Massachussetts, Florida, LA -- have either served as settings or been namedropped often enough for a pattern to emerge.
Coming full circle
Meanwhile, the Countess' visit to Charles Montgomery was a definitive answer to the question of whether the series' return to Los Angeles was part of a larger plan (yep!), and it's not hard now to see lots of additional parallels between Montgomery's mansion and the Hotel Cortez -- both constructed in delicious deco style by a man with some very dark plans; both exerting a magnetic pull that attracts notorious killers and victims alike; both infested with the ghosts of those who died there and have nothing better to do than spend eternity tormenting the living.
It remains to be seen whether more connections between the Hotel Cortez and the Montgomery's Murder House will emerge before this season is through.
Will Constance Langdon turn up in the lobby for a tryst with one of her lovers? Will Connie Britton waltz back into the AHS world one last time to pal around with the Countess? Will Bartholomew and the Infantata have a play date?! We can only hope.
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